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Good beginners/intermediate saxophone

Howdy all! I'm a brand new face to this forum and I really hope that you guys can help me out.
I played sax back in high school for a few years and absolutely loved it but gave it up as it was quite time consuming.
After seeing a local jazz band, play and hear a friend belt out a few on her new sax, I really want to get back into it!
I've read a bunch of reviews about beginner horns and the general consensus seems to be to go for bigger brands (which stands to reason).
My big question is which would be among the best? I have some issues around logistics as I'm located in Australia so getting some horns is much trickier than others. I have managed to come across a few that I think would work?

The first (and most expensive) is the Yamaha YTS-280. I can get it for just under $2,000 AUD. I've heard pretty much all good things regarding this horn less the price.

The second is a H.N King early 30's model serial 100xxx. This one I've found (second hand, obviously) for $1,700. I can't seem to find much info on the 'king' range but the Vol-True are supposedly quite good.

The third is a bauhaus walstein TS-P or TS-PD for about $1,500 and $1,700 respectively. I understand that the bauhaus walstein is a Chinese made horn but from all reviews I've heard they're of really good quality considering the price.

Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys!


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
In order:

* Yamaha
* Bauhaus
* HN White (King)

Now, to go off the original question. First, I understand that $1 AUS = 0.77 US. Second, I understand not wanting to deal with Customs and all that, so I hopped on Australian eBay. Here's a YTS-23 for $825 AUS. Even if you set aside $300/400 for repairs, that's not a bad price for a pretty darn good horn -- and you'll have a lot of $ left over, which you could easily donate to the WF :). Buy a decent mouthpiece, too.

As an alternative, you might actually look up some of the bigger music stores, such as http://sax.co.uk and browse http://ebay.com. You might find that it really isn't that bad to have a horn shipped to you from out-of-country.

I don't recommend beginners start with vintage horns. You're going to be fighting the intonation and other quirks. The Bahaus horns are a bit too much of an unknown quantity. That's actually a really good price on the YTS-280, but I just think you can get a bit better bang for the buck.


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
I always let returning musicians know that buying too cheap of an instrument practically guarantees that you will fail OR end up buying a better instrument and losing a lot of money on the cheap sax. If you think you will be serious about this, save up and get a nice instrument. If you are in a hurry and want to buy based on what you have in your pocket right now, I really think that you'll get what you deserve. And that is sad. Because playing on a quality instrument is so ... well sublime. You deserve better. Good luck!
Pete, thanks for all the fantastic information! I'll keep an eye on the 23 and hopefully it won't go for much more than its starting bid. Haha I'll definitely be sure to donate to the cause,it would've taken me forever to get this information. Any recommended mouth pieces to go for? The only good ones I'm aware of are Selmer.

Gandalfe, spot on. If I don't invest a decent amount of money, why invest at all? As Sots was saying, Yamahas have a consistency second to very few. The Yamaha I rented from school when I played looked as though it was made in the 80's and sounded great!


Old King Log
Staff member
That depends. Horns you can buy on model and advise with little risk, as long as they are in good repair..Mouthpieces are better selected after a trial, which retailer will allow (if you take the care not to damage them, rather than buying them blind (so to speak).


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
A hard-rubber S80 C* retails for $179 US, so $90 AUS is a very good price -- provided the mouthpiece isn't beat (chipped, cracked, etc.).

If you have the opportunity to try it before buying, I'd recommend that. If you can't, I do think you'd be able to recoup most of the $ if you list it on eBay.

I played mainly Sigurd Rascher mouthpieces, primarily because my teachers were students of Rascher. However, like Terry and Jim mention, there are a lot of nice mouthpieces out there and you certianly can spend days trying to figure out which one is best. However, I don't think you'll find a better quality mouthpiece at that price. You may decide later that you don't like it, but you're probably not going to find a better deal.
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